Saturday Spotlight: Cassie Walden
Chapter: Team RWB Midwest / Marion Illinois
Member Since: October, 2016
Motto: “I can do all things through Christ”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“An acquaintance had a sister who was involved with Team RWB, they were needing a runner for the Old Glory Relay. She knew I was getting into running, and I was a veteran, so she connected me. I was not able to attend the run due to a scheduling conflict, but that was my introduction. As I learned more and more about the team, I realized that I was missing the camaraderie that I had loved in the Army. “
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“My favorite event with Team RWB has to be Iron Mom Half Marathon in May. I never in my life thought I would want to run a half, let alone be able to! So the morning of, I met up with our team for our group picture, and we each kill the next 30 minutes on our own. I end up at the starting line alone. Nervous, but excited…I look over to my left and there is a fellow veteran in an Eagle shirt that I had spoken to once before at another event. She had arrived later and missed the group photo. We ran most of the race together, got to know each other, and talked 9 miles through the race! It flew by! We didn’t have to know each other before, but there was such an awesome connection to get to share our veteran stories and where we’ve come since leaving the military. I am so honored to have run my first half marathon with her!”
How Do You Serve Your Community?
“I serve my community a few different ways. With Team RWB, I enjoy meeting with female veterans / team members one on one. I understand not everyone can or likes to run, so I try to meet up and have lunch, or spend time outdoors, just getting the opportunity to get to know who they are and what common interests we have. The second way I serve my community is through my employment. I am the Executive Director of Pregnancy Matters, a local non-profit agency. There, I also like to meet one on one with new moms, or pregnant women and give them the emotional and social support to make it through the transition into motherhood. I believe one thing that the Army taught me was that I can do anything if I keep at it with determination. This applies to so many areas in life, even with raising my children. So my passion is to share this hope and strength with other people.“
What Inspires You?
“When I think back to where I was when I left the Army in late 2002, I really didn’t know how I was going to get back on my feet as a new single mom. But I was determined to still go far, even if it was going to be in a different direction than I thought. With the help of family and a few good friends to guide and encourage me I have done more than I ever thought possible, so I would say that personal, encouraging relationships inspire me, and I try to be that same encouragement to others every day!”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“Team RWB has given me back my pride in my service. I had lost that positive emotional connection to my memories in the Army. I have something that I am proud to be a part of again, and I am proud, once again, that I took that big scary step to join the Army. With Team RWB, I feel connected to others who have some of the same experiences. And even though we can be so very different, we can still share a supportive bond!“
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“Jump in my friend, you will LOVE IT!“